butternut for baby

Many moons have come and gone since I last put up produce. Once upon a time, I was all about it. I pickled, canned and froze ’til pantry shelves and freezer bins were full to overflowing. But that was way back in the day of blessed mommyhood and all too tight budgets.

Now, I seldom take the time. And until now, I had truly lost interest. Until a wee lad named Ollie reached the age of early solid foods. Suddenly, GiGi was launched on a mission!

What can he eat? When? I queried his parents and other new parents and searched the Internet to bring myself back up to speed. A lot has changed in the nearly three decades since our chids were infants. Just like my foray in car seats and port-a-crib product research, it became overwhelming.

Now there is a healthy suspicion of over processed foods and the early introduction of glucose. Now there are a wide array of organic and natural options on the shelves, many more enticing than Gerber of days gone by. Most importantly, now there is a massive make-at-home movement, complete with all manner of gear — and upsell.

You can steam and purée in one swoop: plug in and presto! But wait, there’s more! You’ll need this special spatula, this handy-dandy cutting board, these itty bitty containers! Just beware the items manufactured overseas or you may have silicone mixed with sweet potatoes. Oy vey. My head hurt from all the hype and information. (Momtastic was a great help in sorting it out.)

So one day on my lunch break I did what any sensible GiGi would do. I sliced three butternut squash, scooped out the seeds, and set in the oven to bake. In the hollow of one squash, I placed some peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples. Soon my house was filled with the delicious smells of — I have to admit — fall.

Ninety minutes later I turned the oven off. (Working from home has its perks.) By the time I finished work, the squash were cool and ready to process. I scooped out the soft flesh of the squash with apples first. This puréed easily with just a dab of water. The remaining two squash I mixed with two bananas and a bit of water. I pushed each batch through a finely meshed sieve, just to be sure my ancient food processor did the trick.

20130816-203652.jpgYummylicious. I could eat this stuff! Each batch was plopped by the spoonful into small containers. I retained one of each, ready to eat, and set the rest to freeze. My kitchen was a total wreck by the time I finished but I was a happy GiGi.

All for a great cause! Not only will my grand-boy have a nutritious, homemade-with-GiGi’s-love dinner, but his mommy and daddy get a small break on the baby food budget. Win, win, win! Now for the ultimate taste test.

Oh, Sweetums … where are you? Peek-a-boo!

~ René Morley

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